The Founding of Newburgh Mall
Nestled near Newburgh, New York, the Newburgh Mall has been a cornerstone of the community since its establishment in 1980. Kravco, a property management company known for developing the King of Prussia Mall outside Philadelphia, developed the mall.
The Newburgh Mall was designed to serve as a regional shopping center, providing a variety of stores and services to cater to the diverse needs of the local community.
From the outset, the Newburgh Mall was more than just a shopping center. It was a place where families could spend a day out, where teenagers could meet and socialize, and where the community could come together for special events and holidays.
The mall’s initial array of stores and services played a significant role in shaping the local economy, creating jobs, and fostering a sense of community.
The Evolution of Anchor Stores
The Newburgh Mall’s early years were marked by the presence of Caldor and Howland’s, two popular retail chains that served as the mall’s original anchor stores.
These stores were the main attractions, drawing in shoppers with their wide range of products and services. However, as the retail industry evolved and consumer preferences shifted, these stores could not keep up and closed their doors.
New anchor stores emerged in their place, bringing a fresh wave of energy to the mall. Office Depot and Bed Bath & Beyond became the new anchors, attracting a different demographic of shoppers. However, these stores were not immune to the challenges of the retail industry.
Bed Bath & Beyond, once a bustling anchor store, saw a steep decline in recent years. This decline mirrored the broader struggles of brick-and-mortar retail stores, leading to the closure of many Bed Bath & Beyond locations in New York state, including the one in Newburgh Mall.
Overcoming Challenges and Embracing Change
The Newburgh Mall has faced its fair share of challenges over the years. Since 2009, the mall has been more than 25% vacant, reflecting malls’ broader struggles nationwide.
The situation reached a critical point in 2012 when the mall faced foreclosure. However, even in the face of such adversity, the Newburgh Mall demonstrated resilience.
In a surprising turn of events, the mall was sold at a foreclosure auction to Wells Fargo for a mere $10. This sale marked a new chapter in the mall’s history, characterized by change and adaptation. In 2017, the mall found a new owner when it was sold for $7.7 million, signaling a renewed hope for its future.
The Closure of Sears: An End of an Era
The fall of 2022 marked a significant milestone in the mall’s history. Sears, the last original anchor store in the mall, announced its closure after 43 years. This closure marked the end of an era for the mall and the local community.
Sears had been a constant presence in the mall, a familiar place for shoppers who had seen the store as a symbol of the mall’s enduring presence. Its closure was a poignant reminder of the changing retail landscape and the challenges traditional brick-and-mortar stores face.
A New Beginning: The Advent of the Casino
In December 2022, the mall embarked on a new journey by introducing the Genting Group Resorts World Hudson Valley Casino. This Malaysian-based casino occupies 60 thousand square feet of the mall, featuring over 1200 slot machines, video lottery terminals, and electronic table games.
The casino’s arrival marked a significant shift in the mall’s strategy, moving away from traditional retail towards entertainment and leisure.
The inauguration of the casino was accompanied by a financial agreement, which entailed an annual payment of three million dollars from the Genting Group to the Town of Newburgh. This payment enhances local police, fire, and ambulance services, demonstrating the mall’s ongoing commitment to the local community.
The Current State of the Mall and Looking Ahead
Today, the Newburgh Mall stands as a testament to the resilience and adaptability of the retail industry. Despite its challenges and transformations, the mall continues to serve the community with its remaining stores and services.
The mall’s management is actively working on strategies to attract new businesses and customers, aiming to revitalize the mall and adapt to the changing retail landscape.
The recent addition of the casino has brought a new wave of visitors to the mall, potentially positively impacting its future. As the mall continues to evolve and adapt, it serves as a reminder of the past while embracing the new, symbolizing the resilience and adaptability of its community.
The Newburgh Mall’s journey, from its inception to the present day, is a story of resilience, transformation, and adaptation. Despite its challenges, the mall has continued to evolve, reflecting its community’s changing needs and preferences.
As we look towards the future, the Newburgh Mall stands as a symbol of the community’s past, present, and potential, a testament to the enduring spirit of Newburgh.